China’s Russia dealings irk US, but don’t breach sanctions
By JOE McDONALD
AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — China’s support for Russia through oil and gas purchases is irking Washington and raising the risk of U.S. retaliation. But observers say they see no sign Beijing is helping Moscow evade sanctions imposed over its war on Ukraine. Beijing says Moscow is its most important strategic partner. China’s importance as a lifeline to Russian President Vladimir Putin increased Monday after the 27-nation European Union agreed to stop oil purchases by the year’s end. Beijing has kept the West guessing about whether it might bail out Russian President Vladimir Putin but appears wary of risking losing access to Western markets and banks. Still, China is buying more Russian gas and is a potential investor in Russian energy projects.